I recently read a super-interesting blog post entitled, “Stressed-Out Missionary.” Definitely check it out! The author shares her reflections on the unique stress that comes with being a missionary. I actually thought that the 100+ comments were even more interesting than the post itself.
From the author: “Our first year overseas was by far the most stressful year of our entire lives...And I’d heard about the stage of culture shock (honeymoon, crisis, recovery, adjustment), but sometimes it’s hard to recognize the hurricane for the debris and the wind that’s nailing you in the face. And, when you are still struggling with some of the same issues two years later, it’s hard not to think you must be the broken one.”
Some comments in response to her blog post:
“Yes, this kind of life is extraordinarily stressful…I think made worse when there are added stresses like high heat/humidity, a strange language, needy children, hazardous work conditions (like excessive smog/smoke/traffic/noise). It. Is. Tough.”
“Thank you so much for sharing this story! After two years of being on the mission field…there have definitely been days where I have felt like I am going crazy because of the extreme emotional roller coaster. I’ve lost count of the mornings where I just want to stay in bed, go back to sleep and pray that when I wake up somehow our current stress elevator will have disappeared.”
“I totally get this, I know that I battle stress and anxiety both here and in the U.S. It seems worse when we are here, because there are expectations of the culture, expectations of the team you serve with, expectations of your supporters, and sometimes we’re just trying to survive.”
“I know everyone has stress, even those in the comfort of the western world; losing jobs, sick children, aging parents, trying to make ends meet, marriage difficulties and so on. But I agree, missionaries choose to step right into the line of fire and intentionally (insanely) heap on multiple layers of stress. It just comes with the occupation.”
What a timely post to have read! I just read a newsletter today that quoted a missionary wife’s thoughts about adjusting to the mission field. I think it sums up very well the feelings of many missionaries across the globe: “I grieve. Missionaries are grieving. When we say it’s rough, that’s because it is. Missionaries grieve the loss of the life they had. Friendships. Family. Safety. Familiarity. English. Yes, even Chick-Fil-A and cheddar cheese.”
Read this article!